Feminin Pluriel 

Soapy florals mix with green and spicy patchouli leaf (Maison Francis Kurkdjian 2014).  There’s a lyrical, silvery iris and a bouquet of other lovely florals chilled by a proper vetiver. And yet, the light provided by the patchouli leaf warms the room.  

Notes: iris, violet, rose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, orange blossom, vetiver and Indonesian patchouli leaf.  

Nose: Francis Kurkdjian 


As far as celebrity fragrances go this is one of my favorites. I first sampled it when a dear friend on Instagram sent me a package filled with treats years ago. It’s a warm, juicy floral. The sweet plum and blackberry are very well blended with sandalwood. And the florals are fun, slightly spicy and yet somewhat delicate. It’s the sort of fragrance you want to wear on a sunny, pretty summer day – upbeat and optimistic.  

Top notes: plum, 


Vintage Poême (Lancôme 1995) is round and luminous. The honey-hued florals are alternately soapy and juicy, and while that sounds rather odd it doesn’t present as anything but a perfect sort of beauty… Imagine taking a peach infused milk bath in a clawfoot bathtub with fresh mimosa, angel’s trumpets, freesia, and daffodil bouquets in a sunny, open windowsill nearby. It’s supple, rich and lovely with a slightly vanillic amber bitterness that illuminates the base creating a prismatic, warm light. 
Top notes: peach, Himalayan poppy, plum, green notes, black currant, mandarin orange, datura, bergamot and narcissus.  Middle notes: Rose, jasmine, freesia, leather, mimosa, orange blossom, tuberose, vanilla flower, ylang ylang, and heliotrope. Base notes: musk, amber, tonka bean, vanilla, orange blossom and cedar. 

Nose: Jacques Cavallier 

Atropa Belladonna

Atropa Belladonna (Shay and Blue 2013) is proof that it’s not always the notes as they are listed per se but the quality of them and the masterful nose mixing them all together to perfection. Certainly the black currant is noticeable in this lovely one but it isn’t heavy or cloying. It is sweet, especially mixed with the fruity narcissus and jasmine. And the patchouli and rich vanilla are warm, a bit caramelized and savory. But it’s also a little herbal, truly clean and most importantly: smooth, airy and light. And the drydown is definitely pleasant. It’s another contemporary fragrance I really like and that’s really a nice treat! 
Top note: black currant.  Middle note: narcissus and jasmine.  Base notes: patchouli and bourbon vanilla.  

Nose: Julie Masse 

Lady Delene Cologne 

This rare vintage (Delene Products Chicago unknown) starts earthy, slightly sweet and herbal with kicky citrus, and sharp, soapy florals. I’d bet there’s bergamot, lavender, carnation, and geranium. And perhaps lily, violet, ylang ylang, honeysuckle (?) and then almost certainly sandalwood and vetiver to close. Do I also smell sage, benzoin, tonka and musk? At any rate, the drydown is a pipe tobacco smoky, sandalwood and vanillic gem… And yet it’s still crisp. And very vintage “clean and fresh.

Life Plans 

Nope.  Those men didn’t…  become anything special.  Just disappointing…   The ones I was interacting with that is…  And I’m not one to wait around.  Especially not anymore.

So, I’m giving up.

My ex (still technically my husband) is passionately determined to still make our marriage work.   It’s a bit fascinating to me.  He even joined Instagram and in part to have fun but mainly to “pursue” me in some sort of way…    It’s innocent and quite endearing on his part but almost humorously ineffective.  We’re so terribly romantically matched it could be a dark comedy at times…

I doubt our marriage will last because we’re always more friends than anything romantic but he’s a brilliant dad.  And I’m totally exhausted by the stupidity of the romantic interactions I’ve had in the last year and a half (to be exact).

I could easily think, “oh it’s just because I’m still technically married.  When the divorce is finalized quality bachelors will emerge.”  But I doubt that too…

They never did before.  I married Mark for a reason…   after all.

So why ruin a good, stable situation?  It’s a safe and consistent home-life for my child.  And that’s beyond utterly important.

It might make me miserable, in a way, but…  oh well.  *sigh*  What I’m truly looking for is rare (but possible!) anyway, so…  And I’m tired of fighting to create a haphazard life on some off chance that I’ll be happy a million years from now when I finally “meet someone.”

No, it’s not emotionally feasible, practical or possible to leave right now.   It’s just…  not. I’ve discovered that the hard way…  

I got myself into this mess so I’ll pay the toll.  And that means biding my time until I can feasibly leave.  That might take years…   Many years.  A decade? *sigh*

But I have my truth.  Mostly.  And it’s not like it’s anyone’s burden but mine anyway.  And I suppose God (the father) cares…  

I have no bloody clue what I’ll do if some man falls in love with me again and I start falling too.  That was, of course, the main reason I thought to leave Mark.  I didn’t want to be stuck in a sad, dead marriage that gave plenty of emotional impetus to cheat.  It seemed unwise.   But, instead I am reminded, these last few months especially, why I’ve stayed…

I might even have one more child.   Who knows…  I never wanted an only child.  I was one.  It’s horrible…

We might finally decide to buy a home and stay in one spot.  Why not?

You see, unless I have a big, big positive push to leave him (or it’s detrimental to him or my son) I won’t until it’s safe and reasonable.  Again, that could take a while…

And if Mark is happy…  My son is happy…   What adult (I hasten to write the word adult because my son likely cares) gives a shit how I feel about my marriage (at least in America)?  I’ll be blunt: nobody really (outside of some kind readers of this blog perhaps).

Yes.  That sounds morbid.  But it’s true.  It’s a brutal world…    And I could be soo much worse off and I’m relieved I’m relatively ok.

And, of course, this sounds so…  evil.  Doesn’t it?  But…  what else does one do in my situation?  Run off?  Get a divorce and drag people through that?  There isn’t anyone I want to run off with first of all, and secondly I’ll keep seeing Mark anyway. I have a son with him.

So…  again, I’m going to end a stable life to be very miserable for a few years and then maybe find some man who (maybe) astoundingly truly loves me that I love to?   Meanwhile in that scenario, my son is suffering, I’m battling serious anxiety and exhaustion and Mark is very depressed?!  Yeah.  No thanks.

No, I did this to myself six years ago when I said “I do.”   The ship sailed.   And now I’m stuck at sea: unhappy, lonely and occasionally seasick until I reach shore.

And I will someday…  I will.   When I’m a bit older (and hopefully not too much less desirable).

In the meantime…  oh well.  I’ll just have to find ways to make life more sunny without romantic love or the close possibility of it for a probable while.  I’ll be a sort of depressing variety of “nun” I guess…  Withering, wasting away…  Haha.  (But seriously) Unless God in His mercy decides otherwise in some sort of positive manner, I guess.  


Plum combines with crimson and purple berries to make a syrupy juice that’s sweet and enveloping (Christian Dior 1985).   It sets a fairytale mood at the start. Soon you can smell honey and spices flanking a *very* red rose. Then there’s carnation, sandalwood and a perfectly musky, dark opoponax tinged and nearly foreboding vanilla. Vintage Poison tells of love gone wrong and then right. It’s an epic and exalting story of great beauty in one fragrance…

Top notes: plum, wild berries, Brazilian rosewood, and anise.  Middle notes: tuberose, opoponax, honey, African orange flower, incense, rose, jasmine, cinnamon and carnation.  Base notes: heliotrope, vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, Virginia cedar and amber. 

Nose: Edouard Flechier 


Green aldehydes mix with rich florals and peach has a wild flurry with bergamot and coriander in Zadig (Emilio Pucci 1971).  Then a heady, swirl of civet, lovely ylang ylang and honey meet balsam and amber. Spices introduce themselves more aggressively while patchouli adds an element of wet earth. It’s a *very* intense fragrance on my skin and frankly my chemistry rearranges the notes in such a way that it’s not particularly nice… It reminds me slightly of the way Fabergé Aphrodisia played with my chemistry. Not so great…  Some love this fragrance named after the novel by Voltaire and some don’t… I don’t. 

Top notes: coriander, orange, peach, bergamot and aldehydes.  Middle notes: honey, orris root, cloves, jasmine, and ylang ylang.  Base notes: Tolu balsam, cinnamon, civet, musk, amber, patchouli, vanilla, benzoin and vetiver.  

Secret of Venus 

Peach and cassis dominate lemon with other citrus notes and lavender lingering in the mild distance (Weil 1933).  Then zany florals (freesia and jasmine in particular on my skin) lilt in with a spicy, saucy abandon. And yet, the warm, grounded base of patchouli, a lovely sandalwood and a vanilla (with a bit of an attitude) create a sort of smoothness and harmony. All together it’s beyond gorgeous… It has the sarsaparilla sweetness and fizz of many old beauties but there’s an added verve, possibly aided by the florals that become more and more vintage and nostalgic as the drydown continues. 

Top notes: Amalfi lemon, cassis, peach, grapefruit, bergamot and lavender.  Middle notes: freesia, gardenia and jasmine.  Base notes: patchouli, sandalwood, cedar and vanilla.  


Super musky citrus starts Woodhue (Fabergé 1944).  Then green jasmine, a rich sandalwood and classic mix of vanilla and cedar warm on the skin to create a spicy grace. It’s a manly scent with pipe tobacco-like sweetness and earthy, woody depth.  And the drydown is rather epic…  

Top notes: orange, bergamot and citrus. Middle note: jasmine.  Base notes: sandalwood, vanilla, cedar and musk.